Toronto’s Encore Wants to Give Concert-Goers the Digital Equivalent of a Ticket Stub

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About 70 percent of concert-goers take photos or videos with their phones or digital cameras, which is either really annoying or perfectly understandable depending on what type of person you are.

According to Toronto startup Encore, it comes down to two reasons: vanity and nostalgia. “But no one wants to share or look back at blurry, dark photos from the edges of a concert hall,” said CEO Nicholas Klimchuk. “Encore makes it easy to get the best shots of the night to relive the experience later and get your friends on Facebook and Instagram really jealous.”

The CEO calls it a “concert memory app for iPhone,” one that can gradually place less emphasis on everyone’s terrible iPhone shots from the same concert and more emphasis on less, but higher quality pictures.

“Other people take really good photos and you take good photos, so let’s put that in one place and have a repository for you to look back on for every concert that you’ve been to, like a profile that you can share and look back at,” said Klimchuk.

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He explained how more profit is being generated for artists from their live shows, as opposed to recorded music (for obvious reasons that occurred over the last decade). In the late 1990s and early 2000s Klimchuk said two-thirds of their profits came from recorded music, whereas now profits generated from live shows accounts for two-thirds. It all points to the fact that there’s money to be made on mobile apps that can aid that concert-going experience.

“Whoever cracks this concert app space is going to gain huge revenue-making opportunities before, after and during shows,” said the CEO. “When you have a point of access, you have all their data on it, you can upgrade people to better seats, you can sell merchandise, you can get them backstage passes, you can monetize their activity while they’re waiting in line, it all points to revenue.”

Klimchuk isn’t the first one to have recognized the potential- in fact, tons of apps and startups are trying to do the same thing. The closest Canadian company seems to be Epilogger, which collects what people are sharing about an event online and presents it in a nice, easy-to-read format. But Epilogger’s scope reaches out to all types of public events, whereas Klimchuk said Encore is only about concerts and festivals.

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Encore was formed out of Toronto’s Next 36 accelerator program for high-impact young entrepreneurs. There Klimchuk hooked up with cofounders Steven Heidel, Michael Warshafsky and Simon Bromberg.

Encore currently drives revenue through iTunes sales made through the app or through tickets bought through the app via primary ticket sellers, like Ticketmaster. In a new version of the app, that sales channel will extend to secondary sellers, like Stubhub and Fanxchange. “We’ll earn much larger commissions off of those secondary sales than off of a ticketmaster sale,” said Klimchuk.

Right now about 1000 people are using Encore, looking at 60,000 photos and videos of concerts. The app actually possesses millions of photos and videos dating back to Woodstock. The app also has over 100,000 listings of upcoming shows.

It collects photos of concerts via geo-located photos on Instagram or flickr or any videos with enough indications that they were at a certain event (and usually people are pretty good at tagging their videos).

In the next little while, depending on what kind of reaction the cofounders see the app getting, they may seek to raise capital. The app was only released a few weeks ago and now its about seeing if concert-goers fundamentally agree with Klimchuk’s thesis:

“In the past people kept paper ticket stubs as a momento. Today, Encore is trying to create the digital equivalent of that.”

Joseph Czikk

Joseph Czikk

Joseph Czikk previously has written for the National Post, Montreal Gazette, Vancouver Sun, Regina Leader Post, Techvibes and BC Business Online. Joseph often goes crazy on twitter during NHL and NFL games.